A Christian street preacher was arrested in Perth, Edinburgh last Wednesday for ‘disturbing the peace.’
This is the third Christian street preacher that has been arrested since July, the Christian public have become concerned that Christianity is losing the right to freedom of speech. Reverend Josh Williamson, pastor of Craigie Reformed Baptist Church was arrested on Wednesday last week, he said that the trend point to “an increasingly hostility towards Christianity.”
Mr Williamson is known in the area and regularly does open air preaching in the streets of Perth, he argued that he was not using any amplication and enquired of the arresting officer what an acceptable noise level would be?
The officer informed Rev Williamson that the noise level was not the issue but that a complaint had been made against him, the officer informed him that he was breaking the law by being a “breach of the peace.”
The officer went on to warn Rev Williamson that if he continued preaching he would be arrested. Rev Williamson replied that he would not comply because he was not breaking the law.
A second man intervened and defended Rev Williamson’s right to preach but he was arrested by the police officer as well. Rev Williamson was taken to the Perth police station where he was released with a caution.
The Christian Legal Centre has voiced concerns about the increase in preachers being arrested in the UK. The incident follows arrests of Tony Miano in Wimbledon and Robbie Hughes in Basildon.
Andrea Minichiello Williams, chief executive of the Christian Legal Centre said: “This is the third arrest in as many months. These street preachers are not breaking any laws and are perfectly within their rights. The police are overreaching their authority and misapplying the law. Their actions show an increasing hostility towards Christianity.”
“Freedom of speech is a precious freedom that we must uphold. This injustice must be tackled to halt the chilling effect already felt by many Christians. The threat to freedom of speech is a concern for wider society, not just for Christians.”
“It’s evident that police all over the UK need clear guidance on this matter. Three wrong arrests in three months just shows the level of ignorance that currently exists. It’s up to the police chiefs to take a lead and issue guidelines so that this stops happening.”
Tim Pearson of The Way commented: It is sad to see that we’re getting to a stage where you can’t even quote the Bible in public without being arrested. The right to freedom of speech is under threat in the UK, we need to become more aware of this and assist those who are being unjustly arrested for spreading the gospel so that these rights are protected.
Posted by Amanda Hopkins